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Chesapeake Bay Kayaking

Paddling The Chesapeake Bay

Kayaking in a light canoe-like boat has become one of the most enjoyable watersports in the historic Chesapeake Bay area. Moreover, kayaking in a unique body of water in which both fresh and salt water mix, also called brackish, exemplifies the ultimate kayaking adventure in the largest of over 100 estuaries in the U.S.

Consisting of 11,600 miles of tidal shoreline, the Chesapeake Bay has the longest U.S. coastline of any bay. Situated in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Delmarva Peninsula isolates the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. With Cape Charles located opposite Cape Henry on the Chesapeake Bay’s northern entrance, kayaking in that area has afforded kayak enthusiasts the opportunity to kayak on the largest and most popular estuary in America.

Whether it is a one-person adventure or a family reunion, kayaking is a relaxing and rewarding experience for all skilled kayakers. Here in the area, you can discover and experience Chesapeake Bay kayaking and bond with fellow kayak enthusiasts. From your own light watercraft, you can explore one of the most stunning Chesapeake Bay kayaking destinations in the region.

Along the Bay’s tidal shoreline, you can experience exciting and fun flat-water kayaking in safe and tranquil shallow bodies of water that is appropriate for the newest novice and the most experienced paddlers alike.

Where To Go Kayaking (Launch Spots) and Top Things To Do around the Bay:

The moment you begin your Chesapeake Bay kayaking adventure, you will be enamored by the craft of paddling and will be hard-pressed to enjoy better waterfront views of the Chesapeake Bay’s pristine tidal coastline. Without doubt, you can make the most of your kayaking adventure by making a well-informed paddling decision: decide where to go paddling and decide what to do around the Bay’s area.

To create memories that will last a lifetime, you owe it to yourself to get a first-hand perspective from savvy paddlers who know what to do and where to go before you arrive.

You can explore amazing sea life and discover places like Betterton Beach, Calvert Cliffs State Park, Cape Henry Lighthouse, Colonial National Historical Park, First Landing Beach, Janes Island State Park, Point Lookout State Park, Tangier Island, Sandy Point State Park, Yorktown Battlefield Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown Beach, and much more exciting and fun kayaking destinations in the local area.

Explore what you can of the areas of the Bay. But most of all, take advantage of the many kayaking and paddling opportunities that await you. Here, you will find lots of kayak and paddling activities for every skilled paddler of all ages to enjoy.

Consider booking a pleasure excursion with local companies like Adventure Kayak & SUP, Bay Country Kayaking, Blackwater Adventures Chesapeake Bay, Burnham Guides Paddling Adventures, Chesapean Outdoors, GoKayak! Paddle with a Porpoise!, Ocean Eagle Kayak Adventures, Shore Pedal & Paddle, Tilghman Island Marina & Rentals, and Tula Adventure Sports Stand Up Paddleboard & Kayaking.

Kayaking around the Bay:

Since there are plenty of flat water in which you can paddle more safely and more comfortably, kayaking around the Chesapeake Bay promotes tranquility and sharpens your paddling skills.

Because you can never experience too much excitement and fun while paddling in the Bay, consider the Bay’s kayaking activities that affords you the one-of-a-kind opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable flat-water kayaking adventure at its best.

Before heading to the nearest waterway in the Bay, visit many interesting and historical places: Cape Charles, Deltaville, Onancock, Tangier Island, and the Northern Neck of Virginia.

There is no reason to avoid or overlook great destination on and off the Bay. During your stay in the Mid-Atlantic area, check out the many destinations that are awaiting to be discovered and explored by outdoor adventure seekers like you. Do not miss the many exciting and fun activities, dining spots, events, and lodging opportunities to inspire your brackish-flavored kayaking adventure.

Kayaking Fishing:

The allure of the 64,000-square-mile Chesapeake Bay watershed, distributing portions of land base to six states, is a popular kayak fishing destination for anglers from around the world. Local events like the Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers Fishing Tournament and local groups and organizations like the kayak fishing community all can attest to the fact that kayak fishing is one of the most popular sports event in the area.

During your Chesapeake Bay getaway, you can go fresh and saltwater kayak fishing around the Bay. So consider starting your kayak fishing adventure at the fishing piers of many local venues like Kiptopeke State Park or Sandy Point State Park.

Kayak Camping:

Enjoying everything paddling and camping in the Bay area on your own terms has never been easier. You can take a 5-day trip with fellow kayakers and paddlers at Janes Island State Park. And, you can take advantage of other paddle-and-camp itineraries in the Chesapeake Bay area. The choice is solely yours to make. With many great choices to consider, you can select the right choice that is right for you.

Local Kayaking Groups and Local Meetups:

To facilitate the art of kayaking, many groups and organizations like the Chesapeake Paddlers Association schedule regular meetups in the Bay area. From kayak eco tour to kayak fishing to kayak camping to local kayaking meetups, the Chesapeake Paddlers Association and other related groups and organizations will help and guide any paddler who is interested in exploring Chesapeake Bay tributaries by kayak.

Safety Tips:

Since water safety is everyone’s responsibility, especially yours, it is imperative that you avoid the risks of drowning or being injury while paddling within the Chesapeake region. Therefore, you must see how important taking safety precautions and adhering to water safety policies are to you. Before launching your watercraft, find other paddlers with whom to go kayaking. Never go boating alone.

In essence, adhering to year-round preparedness and prepping are essential to avoid drowning and prevent sustaining injury. Make your paddling adventure an enjoyable and memorable one… Not a bad and unforgettable paddling experience gone wrong.

If you are a novice paddler, you must respect the Bay’s open water in low-risk areas that is appropriate to your skill level. And, you must avoid kayaking that is not appropriate to your skill level in high-risk and dangerous waterways within that region.

If you are an experienced kayaker, it vital that you keep alert on the high-risk and low-risk waterways and be prepared to offer assistance to any fellow paddler in distress.

For everyone’s safety, it is crucial that all novice and experienced kayakers adhere to the water safety tips like the following examples…

1. Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket during your kayaking adventure: Make sure that the personal flotation device (PFD) your wear is properly and snugly fitted to your body like a glove.

2. During the Mid-Atlantic cold weather season, be prepared for any emergency: Always wear warm, dry clothing. Also, take along an extra set of dry clothes that is preferably sealed in a dry bag. Be prepared to change clothing during an emergency.

3. Stay hydrated while paddling in warm weather: To avoid heat exhaustion that may result in injury or death, drink plenty of water and take scheduled breaks to avoid heat exhaustion.

4. Always use sunblock: During cold or hot weather, use sunblock rated SPF 15 to SPF 50 to prevent sunburn as recommended by the Cancer Society and the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology). And, always wear a safety helmet or a wide-brimmed hat for added protection.

5. Take along at least one distress signaling device on each paddling adventure: In case of a boating accident, use a well-charged cellphone with an attached lanyard that is waterproof or encased in a dry waterproof container, a working flare gun with fresh flares, an electric distress flashlight or strobe light, any signaling device like a boat horn or loud whistle, a signaling mirror, etc.

6. Be equipped with essential boating gear: Take along an inflatable kayak, paddles, large water bottles filled with fresh drinking water, elbow pads, a comfortable seat cushion, a safety helmet, knee pads, dry bags, and other light weight essential items you may need.

7. Contact the local U.S. Coast Guard or check with a knowledgeable kayaker: Get more helpful and useful safety tips with which to plan a fun and safe boating experience.


With over 3,000 miles of tidal shoreline to discover and explore, the Chesapeake Bay has plenty of kayaking destinations to every day of the year. Whether you are an experienced paddler or not, paddle in Chesapeake Bay’s flat water and get a fish’s view of the natural beauty that surrounds you. See many prized and valued wildlife: bald eagles, blue crabs, ducks, frogs, hawks, herons, osprey, owls, plovers, rock fish, sandpipers, shellfish, snowy egrets, striped bass, and much more wildlife awaiting to be discovered in their natural habitat.

Remember: It is only a memorable Chesapeake Bay Kayaking getaway when you have experienced the ultimate paddling getaway in a kayak exploring the Chesapeake Bay watershed situated in the Mid-Atlantic region..


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